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LINGUIST List 25.1834

Wed Apr 23 2014

Calls: General Ling, Historical Ling, Semantics, Socioling, Translation/France

Editor for this issue: Anna White <awhitelinguistlist.org>

Date: 23-Apr-2014
From: Béchard-Léauté Anne <anne.francoise.leauteuniv-st-etienne.fr>
Subject: The Notion of 'Passage' in Linguistics: What Relevance for the Language Sciences
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Full Title: The Notion of 'Passage' in Linguistics: What Relevance for the Language Sciences

Date: 21-Nov-2014 - 22-Nov-2014
Location: Saint-Etienne, France
Contact Person: Pierre Manen
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Semantics; Sociolinguistics; Translation

Call Deadline: 20-Jun-2014

Meeting Description:

The notion conveyed by the French word passage, which spans a wide range of meanings, from “passing”, “switching” or “transition” to the acceptation of the English word passage (in the sense of “excerpt”), is still to be defined in linguistic literature.

It is rendered by a variety of terms, depending on the field of study, such as transformation (generative grammar), transfer (pragmatics and translation studies), shift, sequence (semantics), evolution (diachronic linguistics), change (sociolinguistics), etc.

But the only field in which passage was conceptualized is that of Rastier’s interpretative semantics (Rastier 1987).

This conference aims at studying different uses of the word passage in linguistics and its equivalents in other languages such as transfer, switch etc. It will also examine whether it is possible to conceptualize the notion so as to supplement the concept developed in text linguistics and interpretative semiotics in the light of different linguistic fields.

Call for Papers:

Here are a few examples of the way this notion was developed in various domains:

In historical / diachronic linguistics, the notion of passage attempts to describe different processes of evolution of a linguistic system from a phonetic, morpho-syntactic, lexical or semantic point of view _popular evolution, scholarly creation or analogy.

In morpho-syntax, particularly in the field of generative grammar, the notion of passage undermines the notion of transformation (‘grammatical transformation’, Harris 1952) used to describe sentence organisation on the basis of its textual insertion.

In pragmatics, the notion of passage (transfer) has particularly been used in recent developments about pragmaticalization processes that is to say transfers from one category to another in discourse (or when the transfer operates from discourse to language) which are used to create pragmatic markers _variously referred to as speech markers, speech words, pragmatic particles etc.

In cognitive linguistics, the notion of passage (transfer) is backed up by that of metaphor which Lakoff and Johnson described as establishing mappings between two fields of experience (Philosophy in the Flesh 1999 : 47).

In semiotics, shift and sequence are often used (narrative shift, narrative sequence, figurative sequence etc.); using the notion of passage would be useful to describe moments in these sequences. When theory distinguishes different levels _as it is the case for generative sequences_ the passage from one level to another is often referred to as conversion.

In sociolinguistics, the notion of passage can be thought of as either code switching or the manifestation of change supported by social evaluations (Labov).

In the field of translation, the notion of passage is rather tautological since all studies in the field precisely address this very notion of linguistic and/or cultural transfer _the transfer from one word, syntax, discourse, language, culture to another.

In text linguistics, the word passage is linked to the debated matter of textual unity / identity: it is now impossible to consider the sentence as the minimal textual unit.

The scientific committee will not favor one particular approach but, on the contrary, will expect different domains to be represented. The papers which will have contributed to define the notion of passage will be published in the conference proceedings.

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